Of the more than 4 million residents of Kentucky, over 750,000 (one in six) were classified as food-insecure in 2014. In 2010, over 100,000 Central Kentucky residents lived in areas designated as food deserts by the USDA. These statistics indicate that a large number of Kentuckians struggle to obtain enough food to maintain a healthy lifestyle – obstacles including low income, poor health and lack of proximity to food sources contribute to various levels of food-insecurity for tens of thousands of members of our community.
All the while, studies estimate that up to 40 percent of food produced in the United States is never consumed but ends up in the landfill. GleanKY’s founders saw that Kentucky’s food system didn’t have the infrastructure in place to get excess food from point A (growers and grocers) to point B (hungry bellies), giving birth to our work.
GleanKY bridges the gap between programs working with food-insecure populations and sources of excess fresh fruits and vegetables. Every day, our volunteers pick up produce that can’t be sold but is otherwise perfectly edible and deliver it to one of over 80 partner recipient sites in the communities where we serve. GleanKY is neither a food producer nor a food preparer but a vital link between the two. Many of these recipient sites have limited budgets and can’t afford to purchase the fresh fruit and vegetables needed to feed the people they serve, making GleanKY’s work important to increasing the nutritional profile of their meals.
At GleanKY, we feel it is important to engage our community in discussions about hunger. For more information about hunger in Kentucky and America, check out these resources: